Road Trips Teach


Just having spent 11 days of spring break putting 3669 miles on a rented mini cargo van, we find ourselves reflecting on all the valuable lessons of the open road. While this trip was planned around the ultimate destination of Phoenix to visit family, about half of the adventure was left to the decisions made in the moment. Packing road bikes, yoga mats, bouldering pads, sport climbing gear, ski pants, helmets, a tent and camping gear complete with a tea kettle, we set off with just a few overnights pre-booked. It was an adventure of epic proportions. We happened upon unknown landmarks, found cool radio stations and podcasts, and ventured into the Americana of highway public restrooms all over the mid and southwest.

In all, we gained an experience no plane ride, nor any other form of transportation could provide. We acquired road wisdom from the plethora of reasons we recommend road tripping:


  • Chatting with locals is still equal to, if not better than, Googling.
  • We each have a ranked gas station preference list.
  • A community’s social issues are evident on its billboards & bumper stickers.
  • Bring ample change for toll booths.
  • Town names of those that border two states are fun.
  • Improved squat muscle control (in all that public restroom use).
  • A packing system that includes a bare essentials bag (toothbrush, lip balm, headlamp, matches) stored in an organized, accessible location in the vehicle is key.
  • Air mattresses have short life spans. (Ok, maybe we already knew this.)
  • Dispersed camping (camping outside of a campground area on public lands) is allowed on most Bureau of Land Management land for up to 14 days.
  • The middle prairie-land states are erecting more and more wind turbines!
  • Those one legged yoga poses help with the balance required in changing pants out in nature.

Stay tuned for more about this voyage and one of the social issues mentioned above. If seeing this country through the bug-splattered windshield of an automobile is feels good to you too, you must have road wisdom to share. Please do. We’d love to hear from you.

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